Andy Reynolds – Business Model Change and Why it is Hard


Now that we have entered the 3D era (simultaneously decarbonizing, deglobalizing and decolonizing), the mining business model is coming under enormous tension from conflicting social, environmental and economic forces. Its slow and incremental response is profoundly constrained, I argue, by an inability to conceive of, let alone adopt, an alternative business model.

Fig 1. Conflicting views or different topics altogether?

Business models describe the mechanisms by which value is created and captured. In mining, value is mostly captured by shareholders distant from the resources being extracted, making other stakeholders and even rights holders look like rent-seeking competitors or project risks. This colonial model is not how individuals in the industry want to see themselves in the mirror, yet it is the product of a very durable and efficient system of interaction between miners, regulators, engineers and investors.

In this short presentation I will propose a systems thinker’s rationale for the dominance of this vicious circle, and explain from our experience so far what I think it will take to break out of the business model box and create new, virtuous-circle systems that deliver meaningful positive impact and economic opportunity to local communities.


Andy Reynolds is President of Inspire Resources Inc., a Canadian social enterprise mining company founded in 2019 to deploy a new business model (Mineral Impulse™) for integrating natural resource projects into community economic development plans. His experience includes almost a decade managing resource sector research and development in Canadian government labs, and several years consulting to mining companies regarding innovation partnerships. He had migrated to Canada in 2009 after a 23-year career as a marine engineer officer in the UK’s Royal Navy, where his roles included front line operations and maintenance, management of technology, procurement, programs and portfolios, and international collaboration. He holds B.Eng and M.Sc degrees from the Royal Naval Engineering College, is a UK Chartered Engineer and a Professional Engineer in the province of British Columbia.